Venezuela takes heavy oil upgrader offline after fire
A fire at the 180,000 bpd Petrocedeno heavy oil upgrader forced workers to take the facility's distillation unit offline. The reason behind the fire was a gas leak whose cause is yet to be evaluated.
By KEJAL VYAS
CARACAS -- A fire at the 180,000 bpd Petrocedeno heavy oil
upgrader forced workers to take the facility's distillation
unit offline Tuesday,
a regional union official said.
The fire broke out at the plant due to a gas leak from a
pipeline that leads to the distillation
unit, Jose Bodas,
secretary general of the oil workers union, said.
The fire was controlled but it was not immediately known how
long the unit would be kept halted, said Mr. Bodas, noting
that an investigation needed to be conducted to evaluate
damage as well as the cause of the leak. No workers were
injured in the accident, he added.
A spokesman at Petroleos de Venezuela, the majority owner of
Petrocedeno with a 60% stake, declined comment.
Total controls around 30% of the plant, while Statoil has a
stake of around 9.7%.
Petrocedeno is part of a network of upgraders Venezuela needs
to convert its tar like heavy crude into lighter oil. The
plants are key for the South American country's goal to
sharply raise crude output from its massive Orinoco heavy oil
belt over the next several years.
Dow Jones Newswires